South Carolina

Open Public Record Act:

South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act grants the public access to all documentary materials such as books, photos, tapes, recordings, etc. that are prepared, owned, used, maintained, or received by a governmental body. This also requires state and local government agencies to hold open meetings when conducting public business.

Birth Records:

Birth records in South Carolina are maintained by the Vital Record Office. The records available in this office go as far back as 1915.

You can obtain a copy of your birth certificate by phone or online through VitalChek. The average processing time is 5-7 business days. The cost of the search is $17 (non-refundable). VitalChek charges an additional $10.50 for their services.

You can also request for a copy by mail or in person. The processing time for mailed requests is 2-4 weeks while in-person requests are two days. A non-refundable search fee of $12 will be charged.

To request for a copy, you will need to complete an application form, provide a copy of a valid government or employer-issued photo ID, and the appropriate payment.

Marriage Records:

Marriages that occurred in the state of South Carolina between July 1950 to December 2014 are filed in the Vital Records Office. Any marriage records before or after this time period are filed with the Probate Court where the original marriage license was issued.

If you wish to obtain a copy of a marriage certificate, you can submit your request in person,or by mail. You can also submit a request online or by phone to a third party vendor, VitalChek. To request for a marriage certificate, you will need to complete an application form and provide a valid, government-issued ID as well as the appropriate payment.

Divorce Records:

The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) can only issue certified copies of the Report of Divorce for divorces that were granted between July 1962 and December 2014.

If you wish to obtain a copy of a Report of Divorce, you can submit an application in person or by mail. You will also be required to pay a $12 non-refundable search fee and $3 for each additional copy requested. Make sure to provide a copy of a valid government, school, or employer-issued photo ID. Requests made by phone or online are processed by third party vendor, VitalChek. A $17 non-refundable standard search fee will be charged as well as an additional $10.50 for the services of VitalChek.

Death Records:

Death certificates are also available at the DHEC State Vital Records Office in Columbia. You can obtain copies of a death certificate in person or by mail. You will need to provide a completed application, a $12 non-refundable standard search fee, $3 for each additional copy you requested, and a copy of a valid government-issued photo ID.

You can also submit a request by phone or online to the third party vendor, VitalChek. The cost of the search is $17 (non-refundable) plus a $10.50 additional charge for the company’s services.

Elected Officials:

The elected officials in South Carolina are all listed in the official website of the state. You can browse through the list of all the state agencies or use the state employee directory. You can also find links to the different websites of the various elected officials such as the governor’s website, a position that is currently filled by Henry Mcmaster.

Court Records

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